It was torrential rain of encomiums for Prof. Mbang Femi-Oyewo, who joined the league of septuagerians on Easter Sunday, 4 April 2021, as families, friends, colleagues and students took turn to narrate her impactful roles in their lives.
The birthday celebration, which was held hybridly with families and few friends in her residence, had a larger virtual guests, who described the celebrant as a disciplinarian of high repute with milk of kindness flowing in her veins.
Top among the list of guests that graced the occasion were: Registrar, Pharmacists Council of Nigeria (PCN), Dr NAE Mohammed; Executives of Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria – Board of Fellows (PSN-BOF); University of Ife Alumni Association; Queen’s College Old Girls Association, Redeemed Christian Church of God ministers, Executives of West African Postgraduate College of Pharmacy (WAPCP); Trinity University Board members and others.
As the tributes started pouring in, they were multi-dimensional in nature centering on her multiple roles as a mother and mentor to her numerous students, her love for excellence, her delight in orderliness, her unparalleled dress sense, her kindheartedness in helping the needy, her ministerial duties as a pastor, etc.
First to deliver his tribute to the amazon was Prof. Lere Baale, chief executive, Business School Netherlands International, who chronicled their journey of many years since he was at Pfizer, described her as a leader in many ways. Her dedication to excellence was evident on all fronts right from when she commenced her career at the University of Ife, now Obafemi Awolowo University in 1978, and contributed immensely to knowledge and research.
He said she proceeded to the Olabisi Onabanjo University where she rose through the ranks to the enviable position of a Deputy Vice-Chancellor. Her emergence as the first female chairman of the PSN-BOF is another proof of her outstanding qualities of leadership.
The Business School Netherlands chief executive, prayed God to bless the celebrant with many more years and sound health, even up to 120 years, if she so desires.
For Pharm. Adedayo Oluwasanmi, he regarded the septuagenarian as his mother because being a friend to his mother, he said the celebrant is a very good friend to him and other students of hers.
“She showed me a number of great values in life and I want to appreciate God specially for her examplary lifestyle, hard work, strength, honesty and dedication to service. You will spend many more years in time to come”, he prayed.
Prof. Cecilia Igwilo felicitated with the celebrant saying she is an old time colleague having known each other since 1973 at the University of Ife and later moved on together.
“ A woman of God, a distinguished professor, God will continue to keep you. This is just the beginning, God will satisfy you with long life because you are a treasure to our generation”, she prayed.
Another former student of hers, Mrs Olutola Oladokun succinctly described the celebrant as a strong pillar and mother, who took her under her roof during her challenging moments.
“ She’s a goalgetter, an achiever par excellence, a true professional who never takes a no for an answer, I have learnt a lot from her”, she said.
High Chief Bunmi Olaopa also joined in the commendation chorus saying everything said about the celebrant is true because he knows her very well being the Best man during her wedding to her late husband. He expressed his fears at the demise of her husband then, but he blessed God for how far He has helped her today.
Pharm. Lanre Familusi, secretary PSN-BOF, said he is always thrilled by her beauty as her look doesn’t depict her age. “ At the age of 70 which is the age of wisdom, I pray I can look like you when I clock 70”, he enthused.
On their part, the Trinity University Board members- Dr (Mrs) Oluranti Adedayo and Mrs Titi Akinteni, eulogised her unmatched beauty, dress sense and service to God, saying she inherited it from her mother who is a paragon of beauty and fashion, even in her old age.
In a brief exhortation, Pastor Akin Olaoye of the RCCG urged the celebrant and her guests to cultivate the act of always giving thanks to God, which should not be on special days or occasions only because it is God that has kept us alive to this very day.
Appreciating God for the opportunity to be alive, Prof. Femi-Oyewo took it not for granted but said she has every reasons to praise God for His faithfulness in her life and family.